Charro: The Mexican Cowboy
By: George Ancona
Publisher: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1999
Age Level: 9-12
ISBN: 0-15-201047-5 (hardcover), 0-15-201792-5 (paperback)
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Charro is the Mexican term for horseman, but for Mexicans a charro is much more than a cowboy. He is a skilled rider of horses, bulls and bucking broncos, true—but he is also an artist with a lariat, a model of gentlemanly dress and behavior, and a living symbol of Mexico’s patriotic past.
Award-winning author George Ancona captures the annual festivities of el día del charro, when Mexicans come together to celebrate the art of horsemanship. In the rodeo-like sport called la charrería, male charros and female charras, children and adults, show off their skill and daring. But more than that, they are showing off their pride in their country—because to be a charro is to be a Mexican.
“Ancona returns with another outstanding photo essay. This time he visits Guadalajara, Mexico on el Día del Charro, a day devoted to celebrating horsemanship. Ancona’s pictures just keep getting better and better, moving readers forward with motion, color, and excitement. A “don’t miss” from a master.”
– School Library Journal
“The life of the Mexican horseman is explored in this handsome photo-essay. Ancona focuses mostly on the celebration known as el Día del Charro, taking the reader through the festivities of a day that begins with a church service, then moves to a huge arena for la charreada, a rodeo-like competition in which the cowboys, or charros, display their skills; women in bright, fancy dresses parade on horseback; and a mariachi band performs. Ancona’s stunning color photographs capture the going-ons. Beautiful and informative, this book will satisfy any reader interested in the ways of today’s cowboys.”